South Beach Seafood Festival Reveals 11 Battle Pairings for Epic Chef Showdown and a Stellar Lineup of Saturday's Participating Restaurants
SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD FESTIVAL RETURNS OCTOBER 2023 TO DELIGHT SEAFOOD ENTHUSIASTS WITH COMPETITIVE CHEF BATTLES, VIP RESTAURANT TASTINGS
AND SIZZLING CULINARY INDULGENCES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK
The highly anticipated South Beach Seafood Festival is making its triumphant return Wednesday, October 18th through Saturday, October 21st, promising an unforgettable celebration of ocean-fresh delicacies, live entertainment, and idyllic beachside vibes. Kicking off the start of Miami’s famed stone crab season, this exciting annual event promises an unparalleled experience for seafood enthusiasts and fun seekers alike. With four days of special programming, including endless food and beverage tastings, chef competitions, cooking demonstrations and more, this year’s festival will raise the bar for one of the country’s leading seafood events. Presented by Tequila Herradura and GOYA Foods, and hosted with the support of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, the four-day festival is a curated culinary showcase that couples South Florida’s bounty of seafood with the region’s most notable chefs and local restaurants. Tickets to the 11th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival are now available at sobeseafoodfest.com.
Set against the stunning backdrop and the electric energy of the city’s colorful Art Deco district, the South Beach Seafood Festival consists of four separate ticketed events taking place throughout the week. The festival begins on Wednesday, October 18th with “An Evening at Joe’s Stone Crab.” The five-course meal, hosted by Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, showcases Executive Chef Andre Bienvenu’s cuisine paired with fine wines curated by master sommeliers.
Next up, “Crabs, Slabs & Cabs,” takes place the following evening at the historic Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel. This year’s event is once again a formal sit-down, five-course dinner highlighting an international take on traditional ‘Surf n’ Turf’ interpreted by six of the Magic City’s leading chefs who join the evening’s host, GOYA Foods’ Executive Chef Fernando Desa.
On Friday evening, the gloves will come off as Miami’s top chefs go head-to-head in 11 competitive seafood rounds during the annually sold-out “Chef Showdown,” coined the ultimate beach bash on South Beach. Competing at the event will be last year’s winning chefs who will return to defend their culinary crown at the festival. The excitement building up during the series of nightly events will reach a stirring culmination at the week’s main celebration, the “South Beach Seafood Festival.”
The all-day affair takes place on Saturday, October 21st, and showcases a selection of pop-up-cafés and VIP samplings by prominent South Florida restaurants in partnership with signature national brands who will descend on South Beach for one weekend only. In addition to the exceptional culinary offerings, the festival will feature live music performances, engaging culinary demonstrations, interactive sponsor activations and 5 blocks of fun to be had. Attendees can also sip on refreshing beverages at various bars stationed throughout the festival grounds as the event tickets include open bar for 21+.
This year’s VIP Village hosts 1 1/2 blocks of exclusive premium experiences featuring the always popular GOYA Culinary Pavilion, the Tequila Herradura Pop Up featuring Bodega Taqueria y Tequila and Jack Daniels featuring Le Chick , the all new Mountain Valley Spring Water hydration lounge, and the list continues along with sampling restaurants, to include American Social, Area 31, Estiatorio Milos, Billy G Catering, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Mau Miami, Osaka Nikkei, Playa, Rum Room, Smashburger, Tartufo Prestige, The Lazy Oyster, Old Lisbon and The Wagyu Bar by Meat N’ Bone, among others.
“Mark your calendars for the 2023 South Beach Seafood Festival, which has become an integral part of Miami's cultural scene, drawing locals and visitors from around the country to celebrate the city's unique culinary landscape and laid-back beach culture,” said Valerie Roy, Director of Marketing and Client Strategy at CI Management, the team behind the South Beach Seafood Festival. “Whether you're a seafood connoisseur, a lover of entertainment, or simply seeking a deliciously memorable week of flavor in the beautiful setting of South Beach, this festival promises an experience that will tantalize the senses and leave guests with unforgettable memories!”
Touted in previous years by USA TODAY as one of the “Top 5 Specialty Festivals in The Country;” by Forbes as the “Top 5 Things to Do This Fall;” and by the Travel Channel as the “Best Seafood Festival in the US,”, the South Beach Seafood Festival is the place to be for ultimate ‘sea foodies’ from near and far. In addition to celebrating regional culinary talent, the festival annually supports CI Foundation’s EAT SMART program,a 501 ©(3) nonprofit program that provides healthy meals and nutritional guidance to the local community and Florida’s youth through programs in Miami-Dade County public schools.
11th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival Event Schedule:
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – AN EVENING AT JOE’S STONE CRAB
A ticket to “An Evening at Joe’s” reserves a seat in ‘Jesse’s Room’, the original setting in which greats like Al Capone and Frank Sinatra cracked claws. Guests will travel back in time with Joe’s Stone Crab, basking in the iconic history of the country’s top-grossing restaurant, while learning to crack the perfect claw and enjoying the world’s freshest stone crab catch. The evening consists of a five-course meal, presented by Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, showcasing Executive Chef Andre Bienvenu’s cuisine paired with fine wines curated by master sommeliers, hosted by Sonoma Cutrer.
Tickets: SOLD OUT
Where: Joe’s Stone Crab; 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL
DAY 2: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19 – CRABS, SLABS, & CABS
Taking place at High Tide Beach at Miami’s iconic Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, “Crabs, Slabs, & Cabs” is a formal sit-down, five-course dinner and a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience in a tropical oasis set for the ultimate seafood extraordinaire, presented by Breakthru Beverage Florida. Some of Miami’s finest chefs will join forces with GOYA’s Executive Chef, Fernando Desa, to create their own unique international take on the traditional ‘surf n’ turf’ dish, hosted in partnership with Halpern’s Steak and Seafood. The chefs participating in this year’s dinner include celebrated restaurateur and Pubbelly Sushi partner José Mendín; La Mar Executive Chef Diego Oka; Meat Market Executive Chef and Owner Sean Brasel; Luca Osteria & Eating House’s Chef and Owner Giorgio Rapicavoli; and Leku Executive Chef Carlos Garcia. Limited to 150 guests, attendees will explore flavors from around the world as each chef presents a different course showcasing their own delicious interpretation of the delicious surf n turf pairing.
Tickets: $250 per person*
Where: Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel; 1717 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL
DAY 3: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 – CHEF SHOWDOWN
Join Miami’s top chefs for an evening of competitive culinary cook-offs where attendees will serve as the judges as they indulge in endless seafood dishes and refreshing cocktails. “Chef Showdown”, brought to you by Herradura Tequila and presented by GOYA in the Culinary Pavilion of the Cadillac VIP Village, will guide guests through the absolute best of Miami’s culinary scene where 23 chefs—including last year’s champions—will battle it out in the most battles ever to hit the showdown stage, with 11 unique seafood showdowns in one night. Chefs will host ‘battle pavilions’ where guests will sample and vote for their favorites. Throughout the night, chefs from each battle will take the Demesmin & Dover Live main stage to put on a show in their action packed live demos as representatives from the culinary industry will serve as the final judges to award the best in each showdown. This year’s Chef Ref MC, Kelly Blanco, is back to host the LIVE stage with a line up of judges including: GOYA Foods’ Executive Chef Fernando Desa; Joe’s Stone Crab’s Executive Chef Andre Bienvenu; RED South Beach’s Executive Chef Peter Vauthy; Chef Adrianne Calvo; food writer Sara Liss; Café Bernie’s Chef Bernie Matz; and NBC6/Telemundo’s Kiko Suarez. Previous years have seen chefs featured with Mariachi bands, LED Robots, Acrobats, Miami HEAT dancers, and more as they wow the crowd while preparing their dishes on stage. Each battle will have one lucky champ.
This year’s participating restaurant chefs and competitions will include:
Battle Shrimp: Returning Champion Latin House Grill’s Chef Sergio Mazuelos vs Golden Rule’s Chef Generric Kyles
Battle Salmon: Ocean 234’s Chef Nicole Fey vs American Social’s Chef Ryan Leonard
Battle Oyster: Two-Time Champion (2021 and 2022), UCHI Miami’s Chef Cristian Canencio vs Joliet’s Danielle Veit
Battle Fusion-Sushi: Two-Time Champion (2021 and 2022) Tanuki’s Chef Gustavo Montes vs SIMS Sushi & Tapas Bar’s Chef Carlos Flores Torre
Battle Ceviche: Aida Mexican Seafood’s Chef Mauricio Hernandez vs Cilantro 27’s Chef Nilton Castillo
Battle Tuna: Seawell Fish n' Oyster’s Chef Raymond Fiorello vs Billy G Catering’s Chef Andres Garcia
Battle Sushi: Paperfish Sushi’s Michael Asalie vs Sushi | Bar Miami Beach’s Chef Francis Arguilla
Battle Surf n’ Turf presented by Halpern’s Steak and Seafood: Two-Time Champion (2021 and 2022) Rusty Pelican’s Chef Fiorela Cornejo vs Rum Room’s Chef Samantha Cruz
Battle Taco: Tacos & Tattoos’ Chef Randy Piedra vs La Santa Taqueria’s Chef Omar Montero vs Call Me Cuban’s Chef Michael Calvo (3-way battle)
Battle Caviar presented by Sterling Caviar: Perl by Chef Ip’s Chef Isaac Perlman vs NOMA Beach at Redfish’s Chef Donatella Arpaia
Battle Crab: 3-Time Champion, Beaker & Gray’s Brian Nasajon vs Fox’s Lounge Chef Roxana Garcia
Cocktail lovers will have their fair share of fun as four talented bartenders battle it out as part of Friday night’s festivities during the “Tequila Herradura Extraordinary Bartender Showdown” happening within the Tequila Herradura experience. The finalists will be selected and announced in early October.
Tickets: $160 per person*
Where: Lummus Park; 1130 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL
DAY 4: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 - SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
The main event, brought to you by Jack Daniel’s, presented by Breakthru Beverage Fl and Goya Foods, and hosted by the City of Miami Beach and official bank partner City National Bank, spans four blocks on the sands of South Beach and will feature a selection of curated pop-up cafés created by some of Miami’s favorite seafood restaurants. In addition to an assortment of restaurant pop-ups and complimentary all-day open bars for all ticketed guests at the general admission and VIP admission level, the beachfront festival will also include 5 blocks of live music stages, interactive sponsor experiences, beach games, Milam’s Marketplace with the always popular Culinary Showcase Kitchen, featuring local chefs and mixologists to include chefs from Branja, Pez Loco, Mixologists from Pacifico, Wine education featuring Vine and Branches, and more.
Pop-up café attendees will enjoy shareable portions of stone crabs, lobster waffle cones, steak and lobster skewers, ceviche, oysters, shrimp tacos, and shrimp cocktails among other enticing seafood favorites. VIP ticket holders will gain access to a one-and-a-half block private village with exclusive premium experiences, private samplings, and more set for the ultimate VIP guest. Restaurants participating in Saturday’s pop-up cafe experience — featuring over 70 menu items to choose from — include Aida Mexican Seafood, A Fish Called Avalon, Café Avanti, Café Bernie, Cilantro 27, CJ’s Crabs Shack, Ella’s Oyster Bar, Latin House, Lobster Shack, Pubbelly Sushi, RED Steakhouse South Beach, Sala O’ Cuban, Sim Sushi & Tapas, Social Club, Tacos and Tattoos, and The Wagyu Bar by Meat N’ Bone.
Tickets: $60* for General Admission; $160* for VIP
Where: Lummus Park; 1400 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL
The iconic South Beach Seafood Festival is hosted in partnership with Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority and brought to you by entitlement sponsor Herradura Tequila; title sponsors Jack Daniel’s, Breakthru Beverage Florida and Finlandia Vodka; and presenting sponsors GOYA Foods, City National Bank, Demesmin & Dover Law Firm, Celebrity Cruises, Leisure Travel Enterprises and the City of Miami Beach. Additional hosting sponsors include Baptist
Health, Corona, Coca-Cola Beverages of Florida, Cerveza Pacifico Clara, Oshen Salmon, El Dorado Furniture, Miami-Dade county, Halpern’s, Cadillac, Milams Markets, Piper Heidsieck and Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority. For a list of corporate and media sponsors, please visit sobeseafoodfest.com.
South Beach Seafood Festival's host hotel for 2023 is the newly revamped Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, located at 1717 Collins Avenue. Limited Weekend passes are available for $250 per person. Hotel Packages for two with weekend tickets and a festival room are available for $1,100.
Don't miss your chance to secure the hottest ticket of Miami's fall season and join us at the South Beach Seafood Festival, where the ocean's bounty meets the magic of Miami!